Hey there guys, I'm back with a brand new fic. It's been a few weeks in the making, and I've been busy writing plenty of chapters in advance so you guys can get something new every week. This is a different time placing, and concept to my other story. We're starting at early 2015 moving into spring of 2015. I guess you can all understand where we're going to end up with this tale.

But this is just a quick hello from me.

I own nothing but my OCs and any original plot lines.

Enjoy.


Prologue


The screams were the first alert for Nemesis. The second was the terrified pleading of two young women, reverberating through the still night air to reach her ears. She estimated the attack to be about ten blocks from where she was hidden, blending into the darkness of the alley somewhere in Midtown Manhattan. Nemesis launched to her feet, ignoring the biting cold, and speeding her way towards the attack site.

It took only a few minutes for her to reach them. Two teenagers were surrounded by a crowd of knife and gun-toting gang members. Each member of the crowd wore a red stripe on the left arm; some had a crossed knife and bone insignia on the right arm. None of them noticed Nemesis, clad in her dark body armour, decorated only by a copper-coloured scale insignia across her back.

Balance.

That was what she tried to bring – giving justice to those who deserved it and avenging the victims of their attacks. It wasn't just that: Nemesis preferred to prevent the crimes from happening, rather than allow them to occur right before her eyes. But she couldn't be everywhere all at once. She helped whenever she could and prayed it would make a difference. Sometimes it felt like Nemesis was merely chipping away at the stone, removing tiny pieces that sometimes got glued back on to the whole. It was worth it, though. Maybe it wasn't an awful lot, but then again, Nemesis wasn't the only vigilante in New York, trying to make the world a better place. Trying.

Nemesis moved forwards, enhanced ears picking up on the quickened pace of multiple heartbeats. Some were fearful, most excited. This wasn't just a random mugging. No – it was seeming an awful lot more like an initiation ritual by each passing second. A gaggle of unmarked young men and women stood at the front of the group, closest to the unfortunate pair of teens, clutching at switchblades. The knives glinted in the vague light coming from the closest streetlight and the windows far above them. Everything was becoming clearer to Nemesis: the ones who killed the girls could enter the gang. The others might be kicked out, or offered as the next targets to whoever else was willing to kill for the sake of the gang. None of the gaggle seemed older than 22, but the youngest looked about 13. What a life.

Securing her black and copper face mask (which left only her mouth and chin exposed), Nemesis started forwards, shoving her way into the crowd. Fists launched at her, and startled members lifted guns. The targets' eyes flickered with a tinge of hope. Nemesis was determined to help them. She had to.

"Stand down, and nobody gets hurt." Her words came out with a low growl, dark eyes flashing from beneath the helmet. "I won't ask twice. Leave these people and go."

A boy, around 17, sporting multiple bruises plus a sleeve tattoo stepped forwards, brandishing a knife at her. "We've got three potential new recruits tonight, then," said the young man, directing his voice towards the watching crowd. He seemed to be some sort of leader, and Nemesis decided to name him Blade for his somewhat impressive knife. "You really shouldn't have come here, little girl. Keep the fancy costumes for the parties. Assuming – " he broke out in a foul cackle, stuttering with each breath, "you make it out of here. I highly doubt it."

"I wouldn't be so sure. My name is Nemesis, and I'll be bringing some revenge. Right here, right now. Care to dance, little boy?" Nemesis purred the final question at him, tracing a finger down Blade's weapon.

With her audience captivated, Nemesis launched into action. Her hand snapped out, bending the blade beyond use. She shoved an elbow into a face behind her, spinning on the spot to kick another down. The strength of her blows seemed to surprise them. Nemesis smirked, relishing the rush of the fight. Her body moved quickly, dodging hits and landing her own. Bones crunched under the force of kicks and punches.

Kick. Punch. Dodge.

Nemesis quickly settled into a routine, knocking out members left, right, and certain. Two blondes and a ginger braced to fight her, peppering her with medium hits. One slipped on knuckle dusters, causing a cut to open on her upper arm. The fabric had been ripped by another's blade. She hissed at the pain and continued onwards. Flipping upwards, Nemesis slammed her feet into the ginger's chest. He tumbled downwards. She kicked at his ribcage. A fist knocked into her torso. Nemesis stepped backwards, before throwing her whole weight at the female teen. She went down, and Nemesis scrambled to her feet. Then a scream ripped through the air.

Blade had both victims held by two of his companions, knives digging into their throats. Nemesis cursed and stepped forwards.

"Not so close. Take another step, and we slit their pretty little necks. Not what you want, is it?" Blade's voice shook with anticipation … but there was also fear.

Nemesis tilted her head at him, focusing on his heartbeat. If she changed, she would know if he was lying. But so far, he seemed deadly serious. She really didn't need that.

"Look. Look at what I've just done." She gestured to the groaning bodies collapsed around her booted feet, distaste showing on what little could be seen of her face. "You aren't in any position to be making threats. Hand over the girls, and I'll let you go without too many injuries. You might not even have to go to a hospital." Her mouth quirked upwards in a dangerous grin.

Blade said nothing but gestured to his companions. They pressed the knives close enough to cause shallow cuts. Crimson drops of blood dripped down, staining the girls' necks with red. Nemesis growled. She had enough blood on her hands without adding that of the innocent. Her fingers closed on one of her hidden blades. If Nemesis aimed at one of them, perhaps she could save one of the girls. But the other would almost defiantly die if she did that. Doing nothing though – that wasn't an option.

Seconds dragged on for years as Nemesis agonised other what to do. Just as she's decided to try and act, tendrils of sticky web pulled Blade's companions away from the young women. After staring a moment in shock, Nemesis took the opportunity to sink her knife into Blade's chest. She never liked killing, but at least this was one more gang member of the streets. Usually she wouldn't see many outside of Hell's Kitchen, but evidently, these kids had decided to make their own. Nemesis said kids, but she wasn't much older than most of the members she'd fought.

"What the actual -?" Nemesis started towards her saviour, starring Spider-Man right in his eyes, "good timing. Bit unexpected. How can I help you?"

"Help me? I just saved your butt!" The kid's voice was excited and somewhat irritating already.

"Yeah, and I've saved yours more times than I count. You're too young for this, and especially when you run around in pyjamas. If you want to fight, get a proper suit of body armour, and some training. Don't blame me if you get injured."

"Hey! They aren't PJs. And I'm pretty sure you're just a kid too."

"That was everything you took from what I just said. Flaming Nora dude. This isn't about me. I'm trained. I've had experience in the field, and you are just a teenager. I'd wager you're barely 15." Nemesis quirked one side of her mouth up to him, expecting a cocky reply.

"What?! No. That's not … I'm older than that … Maybe I just sound young … You've got no idea …" He trailed off, muttering about people who think they know everything.

"Uh-huh. You keep saying that, kid." She rubbed her forehead, trying to be nice about it. "Look, I appreciate the help. But you need to take care of yourself. You aren't bulletproof. Remember, you can't help people if you're busy dying from multiple wounds. Maybe you have superpowers or abilities, but you aren't invincible, and you can't keep being reckless. You have to … have to make sure you look out for you, not just everyone else. I know you want to save people. It's okay if you only save one person, and it's okay if that person is you. I'm not saying but your own safety above others, but don't rate your life less than anyone else around you. You are just as important as the people you save. Remember that."

"Take your own advice, Nemy. You can be broken too."

"I am not called Nemy! Spider-Baby!"

"It's Spider-Man."

"You aren't even an adult. How can you say that?"

"Like I just did!" With that, Spidey waves a hand goodbye at Nemesis, swinging off into the darkness. "I'm off. Don't stop all the crime yourself, Nemy!"

Rolling her eyes, Nemesis called her own goodbyes, heading out from the alleyway and turning in the direction of home. The two girls she and Spidey liberated have long since disappeared, scurrying off into the darkness. Maybe in the morning, once the shock had worn down, they'll ring a newspaper editor up and tell them about the vigilantes that saved them from a gang ready to kill them. The newspaper will run the story, always eager for more stories on potential 'superheroes'. The kind that the public always laps up, whether or not they hate them.

Nemesis was under no illusions, though; what she did was outside the law, and she could be incriminated for it. She wasn't a flash superhero living in a fancy tower, but rather an ordinary person with some extra talents. If she was caught by the police, she would be sent to trial for anything and everything she'd done. Well, everything they knew about. Nemesis worked in the shadows. But the thing about shadows, once someone shines a light on them, there's no hiding. All you can do is move to the next, and hope they haven't seen your face.


So there we go, the first chapter of this tale. I hoping you've enjoyed this taster, no matter that it's quite short.

Reviews, follows, and favourites would make wonderful early Christmas presents.

Until the next time.

Look-for-the-miracles